Western Pennsylvania’s Number One Shopping Destination, the Grove City Premium Outlets, Welcomes Visitors to Mercer County, PA for Holiday Deals

Mercer County, PA – Every year in November, visitors to Mercer County, PA, enjoy unmatched shopping deals with extended holiday hours at the Grove City Premium Outlets.

Get a jump on holiday shopping at the Grove City Premium Outlets at their “Wrap it up Early Sale” November 11 – 13, 2016.  The Grove City Premium Outlets, western Pennsylvania’s premium shopping destination with over 130 name-brand outlet stores, are known for spectacular savings on fall and holiday merchandise.

The widely popular and much anticipated “Thanksgiving Weekend Sale” at the Grove City Premium Outlets offers extended shopping hours for the holidays. The outlet opens on November 24 at 6 p.m. – midnight; November 25, midnight – 10 p.m.; November 26, 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.; November 27, 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.; November 28, 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. Each Saturday, November 26 – December 24 from noon – 2 p.m., the Outlets host “Strolling Santa” so the entire family can visit with Santa while shopping for holiday gifts.

The Hampton Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, and Candlewood Suites of Grove City, PA, are providing a complimentary hourly shuttle to and from the Grove City Premium Outlets for Black Friday starting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, November 24, running until 1 p.m. on Friday, November 25. This is the only shuttle service being provided to the Outlets and is exclusive to listed hotels’ guests only.

About Mercer County, PA
Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon, PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County, PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Kraynak’s Santa’s Christmasland: A One-of-a-Kind Attraction Delighting Visitors in Mercer County, PA for More Than 50 Years!

Mercer County, PA – Every fall and winter in Mercer County, PA, families flock to a very special place to view an extraordinary attraction. Kraynak’s Santa’s Christmasland in Hermitage, PA, opens each year on September 10 and runs through December 31. Open daily 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Kraynak’s is closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

Visitors to Kraynak’s are welcomed by a one-of-a-kind attraction known as “Santa’s Christmasland,” a 300 ft. long indoor avenue of decorated      Christmas trees and life-like animated figures. Visiting the display has become “A Family Tradition”!

For 2016, there are over 65 sparkling artificial Christmas trees, each with their own theme. Some of the animated themes this year include Rustic Cabin, The Grinch, Americana, and many more.

Visitors will also enjoy browsing Kraynak’s 12,000 square foot Toyland that has a great selection of games and toys for children of all ages. There is a 30,000 square foot gift shop with decorations for the home, church, or business. Kraynak’s also features a flower boutique shop, greenhouse, model trains and accessories, and a candy department. These departments are open year-round.

Admission to Santa’s Christmasland is free. Bus tours and groups are welcome. Groups wishing to visit are asked to call and make reservations at 724-347-4511. Kraynak’s is located at 2525 East State Street, Hermitage, PA 16148.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon PA, outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County, PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Experience Fall Foliage at Its Best on Road Trips in Mercer County, PA

Fall Foliage tours near Pittsburgh and Cleveland

By Peggy Mazyck

Mid-October through the end of October is the perfect time to plan your getaway to Mercer County PA. The county’s location near Pittsburgh offers less than 90 minutes travel time for great attractions and a spectacular display of colors as you travel back roads through scenic countryside communities. Take a drive along some of the routes suggested below to experience the best of Mercer County’s changing leaf colors and vistas.

SELF – DRIVING TOUR 1: Exit 10 (Mitchell Rd Exit) off I-376 to Rt. 18 N

From Pittsburgh, travel I-376 to Rt. 18 North, turning right turn onto Rt. 208 East. This self- driving tour winds through New Wilmington, Volant, and Grove City, PA. On this tour, you will be captivated by the old order Amish communities and the scenic countryside. Look closely for the small signs showing Amish homes and shops selling baked goods, handmade crafts, furniture, quilts, and other unique items. Places of interest on Driving Tour 1 include THE APPLE CASTLE, THE CHEESE HOUSE, THE AMISH QUILT SHOP, WINERIES, THE TAVERN ON THE SQAURE RESTAURANT, and the charming villages of NEW WILMINGTON AND VOLANT. Stay on Route 208 East towards Grove City. Enjoy stops at WENDELL AUGUST for handcrafted metal giftware and GROVE CITY PREMIUM OUTLETS, which is Pennsylvania’s premiere shopping destination with over 130 brand-name outlet stores. Numerous quality accommodations are near Grove City Premium Outlets, so stay overnight and enjoy Self-Driving Tour 2 the next day.

SELF-DRIVING TOUR 2: (Route 258 N to Mercer and Clark)

From Grove City Premium Outlets, travel Route 258 North to Mercer. Cross over Rt. 19 at the Courthouse Square to again pick up Rt. 258 North and travel back roads along the Shenango River to Clark, home of Tara – A Country Inn.

Places of interest on Driving Tour 2 are the Historic Village of Mercer, where you can enjoy various shops and restaurants on the COURTHOUSE SQUARE. Two renowned Mercer County restaurants, RACHEL’S ROADHOUSE or IRON BRIDGE INN are just a few miles from the Courthouse Square on Rt. 19. TARA – A COUNTRY INN is about 30 minutes from the Courthouse Square at the intersection of Rt. 258 and Rt.18. This luxurious inn offers the opportunity to escape from the ordinary with picture-perfect vistas on the grounds and tours of a world class inn. You will need a reservation to take a guided tour.

Why do leaves change colors in the Fall?

Leaves change colors in the fall because that is the time when trees stop producing the pigment chlorophyll, which gives leaves their green color.

Three romantic getaway ideas under 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, Erie or Cleveland

What are you doing for a Romantic Getaway

Any time of the year is a perfect time for a romantic getaway to Mercer County. Several options are just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, Erie and Cleveland. Try these romantic getaways and experience again the love and magic of sharing a special time with that special person. Your weekend trip to Mercer County will leave you feeling pampered and cherished. Pair an overnight stay with a wine and brew tour, spa services for couples and intimate dining at exceptional restaurants.

Continue reading “Three romantic getaway ideas under 90 minutes from Pittsburgh, Erie or Cleveland”

Fabulous Fall Events Delight All Ages in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – Visitors to Mercer County, PA, will have several family-friendly activities to enjoy each weekend in October and the first weekend in November. Now through November 6, 2016, gather your family and friends and “get lost” in a corn maze, take a hayride, or get frightened at a haunted barn.

Coolspring Corn Maze & Farm Market in Mercer, PA, is open Fridays 4 p.m. – 11 p.m.; Saturdays 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.; and Sundays 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. Fall Travel to Mercer Countythrough November 6 and showcases many activities. Included with admission are a corn maze, indoor hay maze, hayride, pedal tractor racetrack, two 40′ mountain slides, and barnyard board game. For an additional fee, guests can enjoy mechanical bull riding, gemstone mining, pony rides, cow train, and pumpkin blaster. www.coolspringmaze.com

The Corn Maze & Fall Fun at Irons Mill Farmstead in New Wilmington, PA, is open Fridays and Saturdays 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. and Sundays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. through October 30. At the farmstead, partake in over 30 attractions such as hayrides, corn maze, corn cob beach, slides, pumpkin patch, jumping pillows, pig races, Irons Mill Hill, pumpkin bowling, climb Mt. Arthur, buckaroo ball town, duck races, playground and more. There are additional fees for farmstead express, apple sling shot, and to rent a campfire. www.ironsmillfarmstead.com

Fair Haven Farms in Grove City, PA, is a destination for all fall family activities. The Fall Festival is open to the public, Saturdays 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. and Sundays 12 noon – 7 p.m. through October 30. Pumpkins and fall decorations are available to purchase. The admission fee includes the corn maze and a hayride to the pumpkin patch where you can choose a pumpkin for purchase right from the field. Other activities featured are giant slides, hamster wheels, tepee tunnel, Straw Mountain, tire extravaganza, a corn crib to play in and much more. www.fairhavenfarms.net

Hell’s Hollow Haunt in Mercer, PA, is a two-attraction haunt with the three-story Bloody Barn, the Haunted Hay Wagon of Horror, and a free walk through the Frightening Field of Corn. Open October 7-8, 14-15, 21-22, 28, 29 and 30, from 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. www.hellshollowhaunt.com

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, WaterFire Sharon PA outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County, PA as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

WaterFire Sharon Finishes Season on September 24, 2016 in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – WaterFire Sharon, PA, will finish the 2016 season with the theme “Destination Imagination.”  The Saturday, September 24 event starts with artists and food vendors at noon and entertainment at one of three stages starting at 1 p.m. ending at 11 p.m. The much-anticipated lighting of the braziers on the Shenango River will be at dusk.

WaterFire Sharon will host over 65 artisans and non-profit organizations in downtown Sharon, PA. Each will be selling and showcasing their specialties including fine arts, crafts, jewelry and more. Other special attractions include the nature and art Native American-themed wood carvings created by artist Michael Long. A historic walking tour will be offered at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., meeting at Vine Avenue and East State Street. Food vendors will be at the WaterFire Food Court in the parking lot on South Dock Street serving roast beef sandwiches, gyros, and much more. Restaurants in downtown Sharon will also be serving their own delicious creations.

Entertainment will cover a large range of genres including Blues, Country, Folk Rock, American Originals, Jazz, and Funk Fusion by musicians Crash the Great, Jeff Fetterman Band, Chris Higbee Acoustic, Juvenile Characteristics, Demos Papadimas, Guys without Ties, Cosmic Lemons and Jones for Revival.

Behind PNC Bank on Chestnut Street, children will enjoy fabulous activities including coaster making and interactive and educational displays on the monarch butterfly. Robotics skills will be demonstrated.  Children can also participate in fun activities such as karaoke, bean bag toss, and putt-putt golf. There will be a petting zoo at Bicentennial Park from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Be sure to mark your calendars with the 2017 WaterFire Sharon, PA dates:  July 15, August 19 and September 23.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Experience Farm Life, Free Brunch, and Scenic Countryside Tours

By Peggy Mazyck

Farm tours are all the trend this year and during mid-September, Mercer County, PA, is offering two great events that will allow the public to experience farm life up close and personal. On September 17 and 18, 2016, the 32nd annual Mercer County Country Tour provides two great days of fun and learning. Offered is a self-driving tour traveling through scenic countryside. The tour includes five stops which include the opportunity to pick apples, enjoy locally grown food, learn the farming process and experience  a behind-the–scenes look at the area’s vibrant agricultural community.

FREE BRUNCH AT THE MERCER COUNTY COUNTRY TOUR

New this year at the Mercer County PA Country Tour is a special pre-tour event that will be held in front of the Mercer County Courthouse on Sept. 17 from 9 a.m. – 12 Noon.  The special event is a FREE “Brunch on Square” provided compliments of local farmers from Mercer, Lawrence, and Erie Counties. The brunch will feature beef, sausage, potatoes, corn, eggs, dairy and more to highlight the great tastes of locally-grown foods. Reservations for the Brunch are required. FREE tickets to the brunch and the tour stop locations can be downloaded at www.mercercountyagdevelopment.com. Showcased at the Brunch will also be a “Touch-A-Tractor” event, farm displays, and interactive activities provided by the Farm Bureaus Mobile Lab. Wow, a free brunch and a full day of family fun . . . sign me up!!!

MUNNELL RUN FARM DAYS

Another event to showcase farm life is Munnell Run Farm Day. On September 18, the public can experience a diverse line-up of activities on this 163-acre farm. Attendees will enjoy locally-produced prepared foods, a farmers market, handmade crafts, free wagon rides, and special children’s activities. The Munnell Run Farm Quilt Guild will have a barn full of handmade quilts to show off. Music and entertainment will be provided all day.  Events start at 11 a.m. and end at 4 p.m.

The biggest decision to be made is how to attend both events.  Our suggestion is to make it a weekend getaway and enjoy some family time together.  These events offer two days of fun, learning, and inspiration that the whole family will treasure.

32nd Annual Mercer County Country Tour Set for September 17-18, 2016 in Mercer County, PA

The Mercer County Country “Drive it Yourself” Tour kicks off with a free Brunch on the Square in Mercer, PA on September 17 from 9 a.m. – 12 noon.

At the brunch, farmers from the tri-county area will provide locally-produced foods. The brunch will include beef, sausage, potatoes, corn, eggs, dairy, and more from Mercer, Erie, and Crawford counties. For FREE brunch tickets register at: http://www.mercercountyagdevelopment.com/ or pick tickets up at the following locations: Mercer County Visitors Center, Sharon; Hermitage Agway; Ritenour Equipment, Hadley; Western Reserve Farm Cooperative, New Wilmington; Grove City Agway; and the Mercer County Extension Center, Mercer.

In addition to the Brunch on the Square, attendees will be able to enjoy Touch-a-Tractor, the Farm Bureaus Mobile Agriculture Lab (a traveling educational center), agricultural displays from local farmers, and the opportunity to meet the Mercer County Dairy Princess. Following the brunch, attendees can set off on a self-driving tour to five participating stops to experience Mercer County agriculture first hand.

Stops include the New N.W. Sales Company, a local livestock auction business; Apple Castle, the Johnson family farm since 1845 where visitors will learn how to grow fruit, particularly apples; Whiting Family Farm, a retail, wholesale and custom meat shop specializing as a processor for area livestock producers; and Western Reserve Farm Cooperative, a full-service agronomic facility for area farmers. Visitors can learn about all the services these businesses provide the agricultural community. The self-driving tour is offered on both September 17 and 18.

The rest area for the Farm Tour is The White Chapel United Methodist Church, New Wilmington, with time to enjoy a light lunch or snacks. The Pennsylvania WoodMobile will be exhibited at the church. Visitors can learn about state’s forest resources through this traveling display.

About Mercer County, PA
Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for shoppers. The area is also known for wine and brew tours, outdoor adventure, and outstanding golf. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

12th Annual Munnell Run Farm Day Set for September 18, 2016 in Mercer County, PA

12th Annual Munnell Run Farm Day Set for September 18, 2016 in Mercer County, PA

Mercer County, PA – Enjoy a day of fun activities on a 163-acre working farm located two miles from the Mercer County Courthouse on Route 58 west. Munnell Run Farm Foundation will host their 12th Annual Munnell Run Farm Day on Sunday, Sept. 18, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Events scheduled throughout the day include displays by local artists and craftsman, a farmer’s market, food vendors, children’s activities, and more.

Local artisans and craftsman will showcase wood working-bowls/cutting boards, handmade jewelry, handmade ceramics, hand-tied fishing flies, alpacas and alpaca products, beach glass jewelry, illustrated kids’ story books, baby quilts, and hammered aluminum. A building full of hand-made quilts will also be on display.

A farm market will feature locally-produced items such as honey, maple syrup, and fresh produce.

Delicious food selections will be sold. The Maennechor Club of Sharon will sell bratwurst, the Historical Society will offer ox-roast, and the Seeds of Faith Ministry will be on hand with chicken tenders, ribs, onion rings, French fries, Philly steak sandwiches, and lemonade.

Children will be thrilled with a special section with games and storytelling, plus kids can paint their own animal track t-shirts. Everyone is invited to come and enjoy free wagon rides and music by Chuck Thorpe and Friends.

General admission is free, but visitors are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the local Community Food Warehouse of Mercer County.

About Mercer County, PA

Located in Western Pennsylvania, Mercer County PA

is home to Grove City Premium Outlets, boutiques, and unique specialty stores for sh

oppers. The area is also known for its more than 25 challenging golf courses of inspired design. Golf Digest ranked Mercer County as one of its top golf destinations. Visitors can dine on mouthwatering cuisine at an array of fine restaurants and then stay overnight in a well-appointed hotel, a luxurious bed and breakfast, or a cozy country inn. Close to Pittsburgh, Erie, Cleveland, and southern Ontario, Canada, Mercer County PA is easily accessible via I-80 and I-79. Our County offers the perfect escape. For more information, visit www.VisitMercerCountyPa.net.

Five Hours of Fun on the Mercer County, PA Wine Trail

Five Hours of Fun on the Mercer County, PA Wine Trail

By Peggy Mazyck

With a customized itinerary in hand, two mothers and two daughters from the Pittsburgh area joined me on a tour along the Mercer County Wine Trail. The group wanted time together to celebrate before their daughters started graduate school in the fall. The Mercer County Wine Trail impressed them as a perfect opportunity to have fun together and make special memories.

A Getaway Weekend at Tara-A Country Inn

For their getaway, the group chose a weekend stay at Tara – A Country Inn with a five-hour wine tour on Saturday starting at 11 a.m. While gathered on the front porch at Tara to await transportation, they discussed their wonderful stay there. To their surprise, Mrs. Winner, the owner of Tara, was in the yards pruning flowers, and they were able to meet her and express their appreciation for their comfortable stay. They were curious about what inspired her to open such a beautiful inn and were thrilled to get her personal response to their questions.

Wineries in Mercer County, PA

Our chariot for the day was a seven passenger Toyota Sienna. This vehicle was the perfect size for this group and everyone was comfortably seated. The first stop was the Conneaut Cellars Winery and Distillery, located directly across from Pennsylvania’s largest natural lake, Conneaut Lake. I explained that each winery we were visiting offered free tastings, and Conneaut Cellars had over 30 handcrafted wines to choose from. After a brief but informative production tour offered by Conneaut Cellars’ owner, Joal Wolf, the tastings began. This group had visited many famous wine areas and was, to some extent, “wine connoisseurs.” Well, action speaks louder than words, and the action today was that Conneaut Cellars Winery sold a lot of wine to this group. This first stop was a great success and set the tone for a perfect day.

Next stop was Wilhelm Winery and Antique Wine Making Museum. This winery is situated near the shores of Lake Wilhelm and is located in a beautiful, rustic 100-year-old barn. For this part of the tour, we planned an early afternoon snack break. After the free wine tastings, the ladies chose a wine they liked and shared a meat and cheese tray on Wilhelm’s patio. The countryside surrounding this winery is scenic and peaceful. The group enjoyed a wonderful time of sharing and companionship in a tranquil setting.

The final stop of the day was Lago Winery. As we approached this winery, the group noted that the parking lot was packed and there was a lot of excitement and energy at the site. At this stop, a late lunch and entertainment was scheduled. After the free tastings, the group purchased over a ½ case of diverse wines to take home and quickly found a table under the outdoor trellis to enjoy live music, wine, and wood-fired pizza. Lago Winery is nestled in the slopes above Pymatuning Lake and is open mid-April through mid-October.

No one wanted to leave, but soon it was 4 p.m. and our chariot awaited. With a hug goodbye, the enthusiastic response to the tour was, “We loved the tour and we will be back.” For the next visit, we plan to showcase the southern tier of our Mercer County, PA wine trail: Webb Winery, Volant Mill Winery, and Nova Cellars Winery.